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Church takes blame for Argentinian crisis

An Argentinian archbishop has admitted that his Church's failure to preach moral values has contributed to the country's worsening social and economic crisis.

In a hard-hitting homily, Archbishop Carmelo Giaquinta of Resistencia Argentinian said Catholics should stop looking to other countries to solve their social and political problems and take action themselves.

The archbishop was commenting on President Eduardo Duhalde's claim that Argentina is 'surrounded by international vultures'.

He said that the country's problems stemmed from widespread fraud and corruption and added: 'If there are vultures flying around, it is because we have several rotten corpses in our country'.

Saying that the 'absence of public virtues' had turned the state into a 'corpse', the archbishop said that he and his fellow bishops had to take a share of the blame.

'Maybe we bishops have failed in clearly transmitting the Christian message and clearly explaining its social consequences,' he said.

Argentine government officials face almost daily protests during the continuation of a four-year recession that in January resulted in currency devaluation and debt default. One in four of Argentina's workforce is unemployed, and half the country's 36 million people live in poverty. Catholic aid agencies have warned that if the situation does not improve soon many thousands of lives may become at risk.

The Universe

29 Jul 2002